“I can’t believe it’s doing this,” the lady behind me in line said to her buddy, as the droplets fell on the unfortunates forced to queue. Her aggrieved tone implied the rain had targeted her, personally.
“I’m kind of ill, kind of dizzy,” a man next to her said to an unknown phone pal. “I mean, I’m thinking, ‘Should I go home?’”
Of course, he didn’t—which, it turned out, was the right thing to do.
Inside the Park Avenue Armory, where all the most memorable large-scale Manhattan theatrical and artistic projects find a gaping and welcoming home, Ford created a pink-colored lozenge within which celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Julianne Moore, Cindy Crawford, Chaka Khan, Anna Wintour, Doutzen Kroes, and Ciara chatted and mingled. And looking dry. As celebrities do.
On the runway were Kendall Jenner and, in a beautifully staged finale, Gigi Hadid. The luxe masculine-themed tailoring of dinner jackets and pants that you might expect of Ford was present—as if every occasion was one where you might sling off your top half for a cigarette or a tumbler of something. This was a very Tom Ford party.
Jersey dresses came in shimmering silver with blue and yellow bases. There were gorgeous short, belted jackets in orange and white, and dusky mauves unexpectedly muting long, tight dresses and evening jackets.
The models looked most uncomfortable walking in tightly wound, crepe-bandaged dresses, which—despite their bodily constrictions—also featured the welcome wit of glittering sleeves.
There were blazers in fuchsia, leotards hiding under jackets, all-in-white ensembles, and denim as jacket and skirt, and tight, tight black leather.
Then, right at the end, the mood shifted, for a series of long dresses, and Hadid the queen of all in dusky pink. Ford himself appeared to rapturous—and genuinely appreciative—applause at the end, and rightly so for such a beautifully designed collection of clothes beautifully presented.
And then there was a party, as hunky men in skimpy sports shorts served Champagne and cocktails and food to the assembled under pink and blue flashing lights. The room seemed full of men in Tom Ford drag: black jackets, black trousers, white shirts, and black ties.
It was like being surrounded by 200 gay undertakers. If you had died on the spot, the last thing you would have heard would have been, “Oh girrrl, get up.”
An expertly curated pop fantasia of Beyoncé, Rihanna, and The Killers unfurled (though the songs kept getting cut into—boo!), and suddenly all complaints of rain had abated. Tom Ford had made it sunny again. In a pulsating neon kind of way.